Canada Development plan for 2041

What are the Alberta oil sands?

The Alberta oil sands are a large deposit of Bitumen or extremely heavy crude oil. The Bitumen is a mixture of a few grains of sand surrounded by a layer of water and a film of bitumen. The Alberta oil sands are divided into three parts The Athabasca Area, The Cold Lake Area, and The Peace River Area. The oil must be treated before it can be used by refineries to produce usable fuels such as gasoline and diesel. Oil sand can be found in several locations around the globe, including Venezuela, the United States and Russia. Alberta oil sands are known to be the second most effective producers in the world by producing 1.4 million barrels a day.

What are different processes the Oil is Extracted?

Open pit mining

The trees and the top layer of soil which is usually 2 meters deep are duped away in big piles and kept so that after the oil is extracted the could put the soil back on top. Big mining shovels scoop the sand ( sticky bitumen, water, and soil) into giant trucks specifically the Caterpillar-797F. The trucks bring the materials to an on site processing facility. Here the sands are mixed with hot water then shaken up, separating into three main layers: Sand on the bottom, water in the middle, and Bitumen(oil) on the top. Then the Bitumen is skimmed off the top, then thinned with diluting chemicals (such as natural gasses or light crude oil). The Bitumen is then sent via pipeline to an upgrading facility where it is stored in barrels or put in trucks to take to gas stations.

Steam Extraction

This method is only used if the oil is 225 feet underground or more. 2 giant holes are dug which go 255 or more feet down then metal pipes are put in it One of the pips is usually dug deep enough for it to be in the middle of the Bitumen. The other pipe is dug deeper to the bottom of the bitumen. The top pipe injects steam in the middle of the bitumen so that it melts. The bottom pipe collects the bitumen and brings it up to the surface. Here the sands are mixed with hot water then shaken up, separating into three main layers: Sand on the bottom, water in the middle, and Bitumen(oil) on the top. Then the Bitumen is skimmed off the top, then thinned with diluting chemicals (such as natural gasses or light crude oil). The Bitumen is then sent via pipeline to an upgrading facility where it is stored in barrels or put in trucks to take to gas stations.

How are The Alberta Oil sands connected to "Resources of Canada"

Oil sands are the primary resource of Canada. The oil sands affect our Economy, society, and Environment the most. The oil sands have lots of positive and negative impacts on our resources. Water is known to be the most important resource to mankind. A huge amount of fresh water is used to make the oil. 4.1 barrels of water is used to create 1 barrel of oil. The production of oil is costing humans more than the value of oil. Every human uses water on a daily basis. A average person cant survive without water for 2 days. There is only 3% fresh water on Earth and 2 % of it is stuck in glaciers. The importance of water is far too important for it to be used to create oil which just makes our life easier. A issue with the oil sands is that it takes water from the Athabasca river. It uses/pollutes the water right when it enters Alberta which is a major issue because people in Alberta are getting polluted water for their day to day needs.

It also affects a industry in a major way. Fishing industries in Alberta such as "Alberta fish" has been affected by the Oil sands by allot because of them fishing from rivers which are near the Athabasca river ( the most polluted river) which then connects to lake Claire. A huge lake which is used by first nation people for the past 800 years.

Usage of the fuel created by the oil sands

Oil sands are very helpful because they help us achieve a high amount of development which we wont be able to achieve without oil. Oil has helped us from traveling the universe to cutting grass. According to Pumptalk.ca in a year Canada uses 40 billion liters of gasoline. Alberta oil sands makes 9.782e+15 ( in scientific notation ) liters of gasoline a year. which leaves allot for Canada to sell to other countries. Oil has helped us allot such as busing to school today's literacy rate would be very low if transportation was never made.

Spot the difference

Before
After

What can the oil sands affect

Hydrosphere

The hydrosphere is composed of all of the water on or near the earth. This includes the oceans, rivers, lakes, and even the moisture in the atmosphere. Over ninety-seven percent of the earth's water is in the oceans. The remaining two-and-a-half percent is fresh water; over two-thirds of the fresh water on the planet is solid and exists in ice sheets.

Biosphere

The biosphere is composed of all living organisms. Plants, animals, and one-celled organisms are all part of the biosphere. Most of the planet's life is found from three meters below the ground to thirty meters above it and in the top 200 meters of the oceans and seas. But life can live far outside of these ranges: some birds are known to fly 8 kilometers up, and fish have been found over 8 kilometers beneath the ocean surface. Microorganisms are known to survive well beyond these ranges. The biosphere is made up of biomass.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere is the body of air which surrounds our planet. Most of our atmosphere is located close to the earth's surface where it is most dense. The air of our planet is 79% nitrogen and just under 21% oxygen; the small amount remaining is composed of carbon dioxide and other gasses.

Lithosphere

The lithosphere is the solid, rocky crust covering entire planet. This crust is inorganic and is composed of minerals. It covers the entire surface of the earth from the top of Mount Everest to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The actual thickness of the lithosphere varies considerable, and can range from roughly 40 km to 280 km. The lithosphere ends at the point when the minerals in the earths crust begin to demonstrate viscous and fluid behaviors. The exact depth at which this happens depends on the chemical composition of the earth, and the heat and pressure acting upon the material.

Water Consumption

Oil sands production requires an extremely large quantity of water. In general it takes about 2 to 4.5 barrels of water, most of which is withdrawn from the Athabasca River, to produce one barrel of oil. While much of this water is recycled and used many times over, the oil sands use more water per year than the entire city of Calgary. The key policy problem regarding water for this purpose is the need to allocate water supplies in a way that properly balances oil sands production needs with ecosystem and human needs in the region. While the amount of water consumed per barrel of oil produced has been declining, a 2006 Government of Alberta report warned that there simply may not be enough available water to meet the needs of all planned oil sands projects while maintaining adequate stream flows.

Greenhouse Gases

More than any other environmental issue, the Alberta government is increasingly being criticized for its approach to climate change. Currently, Alberta is responsible for one-third of Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHGs). Specifically, the oil sands are Canada’s largest-growing source of GHGs, and these emissions are expected to increase substantially in the future. It is clear the Alberta government’s intention is to allow total GHG emissions from the oil sands to continue to rise. It recently released a GHG plan that relies heavily on intensity-based targets , which focus on reductions in emissions per unit of production, instead of setting absolute limits on total emissions. The Government of Alberta’s long-term target is a 14 percent reduction in GHGs, below 2005 levels, by 2050. Its most ambitious goal is to have emissions stabilized by 2020.

The provincial government, the current federal government’s climate change plan considers carbon capture and storage to be the solution to the oil sands’ ever-increasing emissions, but the concept has yet to be proven technologically or economically feasible. While recent funding announcements for carbon capture research are important, the amount of funding allocated falls far short of what is required to jump-start an industry-wide capture-and-storage program. If carbon capture and storage continues to form the foundation of Alberta’s climate change plan, finding a way to overcome the large associated financial and technological hurdles will prove extremely challenging.

The Alberta government’s lack of progress on mitigating oil sands emissions may prove to be a political liability in the future. Already, vocal international environmentalists have begun targeting the oil sands on the issue of climate change. As perhaps the global environmental issue of the 21st century gains increasing international attention, Alberta’s ability to ignore this growing chorus of voices may prove impossible. At the same time, many predict that a large political showdown between the provincial and federal government is looming; the belief is that it’s only a matter of time before the federal government moves to aggressively limit industrial sources of GHGs in Canada. Recently, the Federal Court of Canada struck down the environmental assessment of a proposed major oil sands project, arguing the project did not have an adequate plan to deal with its GHG emissions.

The Government of Alberta’s ability to continue developing the oil sands while largely ignoring growing concerns about climate change, both in the domestic and international political arenas, is uncertain. Public attention to climate change issues is only now beginning to focus on the oil sands, and this attention is only likely to increase

Development affects

Oil sands development causes large-scale spatial disturbances to Alberta’s northern boreal forest . According to critics, the cumulative effects of deforestation, habitat fragmentation, and species loss caused by exploration, open pit mines, in-situ developments, urban development, forestry, and road clearing in the region are not being adequately managed or even considered.

In April 2008, the impact on habitat received widespread media attention when hundreds of migrating ducks died in a Syncrude tailings pond. There is also concern about links between habitat loss and declines in populations of at-risk species, such as caribou. The Alberta government, as articulated in its Mineable Oil Sands Strategy, has always maintained this disturbance is “temporary” and that production sites will be reclaimed when projects are completed. Provincial requirements for reclamation, however, are considered by environmentalists to be an inadequate means of ensuring that reclaimed land resembles a functioning ecosystem. In this context, reclaimed land is not actually required to resemble the site as it existed prior to development. Environmentalists point out that ecologically complex wetlands will be replaced with dry tree plantations, though there is uncertainty as to whether trees will even be able to grow on the sites used by oil sands projects.

To date, only one oil sands project has been awarded a reclamation certificate, which means that the reclaimed land has been formally approved by the provincial government. Critics were quick to point out, however, that this site was only minimally disturbed by oil sands activity and is not reflective of the massive land disturbances that take place in most oil sands project sites. Despite uncertainty as to whether the land base can be adequately reclaimed and how much money this will cost in the future, approvals for new oil sands projects continue to be granted. There is concern, however, particularly among environmental groups, that the Alberta government (and thus taxpayers) will be stuck with the future cost of reclamation. Though operators are required to provide the government with “financial security” that can be used if the land is not adequately reclaimed, it is the oil sands companies that tell the provincial government how much this deposit should be. It is also unclear whether this amount of money will be close to the amount required for ecologically sound reclamation, if needed

Social effect

communities about their ability to keep up with the pace of development in the oil sands. In towns like Fort McMurray and Cold Lake, housing costs are spiralling upwards, such that many newcomers cannot find adequate housing. The region’s physical infrastructure, from roads to water and sewage systems, are severely overtaxed, with communities reporting massive infrastructure deficits. Social services, including health care, crime prevention and education, are inadequate and unable to meet the demands of population pressures. Communities in Northern Alberta feel they are absorbing a disproportionately high amount of the negative impacts of oil sands growth while failing to receive their fair share of the benefits. Many mayors, municipal councils, and individuals from these communities outlined their concerns in submissions to Alberta’s Oil Sands Consultations process. While the Government of Alberta has acknowledged there are indeed gaps in social services and infrastructure, few of its own recommendations have been implemented.

To alleviate some of these major social problems, communities have requested large investments from the provincial government and a new arrangement for tax and royalty regimes to ensure communities in the oil sands region can meet both infrastructure and social demands. Despite budgetary surpluses, the Alberta government has been slow to provide these communities with the requested funding. Massive social and infrastructure deficits remain; finding a way to fairly share the economic costs and benefits of the oil sands will remain a politically difficult policy problem for the foreseeable future

Over 30 different First Nations live in the oil sands region of Northern Alberta. Unlike in most of neighboring British Columbia, formal treaties cover the area and, as with many resource extraction industries, the oil sands industry has been a mixed blessing for rural First Nations communities. While many First Nations members are indeed employed in the oil sands, there is much concern that oil sands companies are not doing enough to hire local First Nations. That said, the amount of business flowing to First Nations-owned companies (such as trucking and construction) has been extremely large. Furthermore, many of the larger oil sands companies have strategies and targets for hiring specific numbers of First Nations employees, and for purchasing from, and contracting with, First Nations-owned businesses, as outlined in a report published by the National Energy Board in 2004. These economic benefits, however, have not been sufficient to mute the resistance of many First Nations members to the scale and pace of development in their ancestral lands.

The problems cited by First Nations members regarding oil sands development include: lack of proper consultation and accommodation of First Nations interests; lack of adequate compensation; loss of traditional hunting and trapping territory; habitat destruction (particularly fishing grounds); health concerns relating to surrounding air and water pollution; and general concerns regarding the wide range of environmental issues pertaining to oil sands development. As many of the First Nations affected by oil sands development are located downriver in Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories, this poses challenges for other governments (provincial and territorial), as well as the federal government. Several First Nations groups, including the Dec-ho, have made high-profile calls in support of declaring a moratorium on oil sands development. Recently, the Assembly of Treaty Chiefs, which is comprised of representatives from all First Nations groups in Northern Alberta, unanimously passed a resolution calling for the provincial government to cease granting approval for new oil sands projects until certain conditions, including the development of a proper water management strategy, are met. While recent consultations with Alberta’s First Nations about the oil sands have concluded, it remains too early to determine how the Alberta government will respond to the issues raised during these proceedings.

People have been immigrating to other states from Alberta due to the poor condition of water it affects their crops because the river/ lake water is polluted. This has led to Alberta being the poorest health conditioning province in all of Canada.

A big Issue is that the government is allowing The oil sands to do false advertisement

In this image they show the water being blue and everything being clean and also there is no smoke coming out. There are also trees shown near the oil sands.
This is the actual image there is allot of smoke the water has a bubbly grey texture to it and there are no trees around it and it also doesn't look as neat as they showed in their advertisements.

Wasted water from the process of refining oil are emptied and stored in huge toxic tailing ponds that can be seen from space in some cases they leak into the Athabasca river which then goes to surrounding ponds . The toxic waste This impact caused a significant rate of cancer to many indigenous communities. It also causes different diseases in fish species Oil extracted from the sands are processed into fuel for our cars, the cars cause Green house gas emissions to be released and that causes climate change and In our community we have many vehicles and that mean more Green house gases emissions. These gases get stuck between he surface of Earth and the Ozone layer. 10 % of the worlds emissions come from Canada and 92 % of that is from the Alberta oil sands.

Solutions to stop the pollution created by Alberta oil sands

The major pollution by the oil sands is Water pollution. In the water they dump t is 40% sand, 30% water, and 30% bitumen still left in the water (This is what they dump in the rivers). I have figured out that the temperature of boiling water is 100 degree Celsius and boiling point of bitumen is 538 degree Celsius. The boiling point of sand is 4000 degree Celsius which means we can evaporate the water at about 400 degrees Celsius to speed up the process. and after the water evaporates condensation could be used to change the stage of the water vapor back to liquid. The water will then basically be purified and will be good to flow down the stream or to be fertilized to be provided in houses. The sand and bitumen can be kept or used to fill up previous holes they dug. Then after a few rain falls and a waiting period of 2 years that bitumen will be good to put through the process again. This will put the fishing business back on track in Alberta. Fishing has been in Alberta for over 1000 years from FNMI. This will hep make our water clean and make it reusable. People wont want to immigrate too much because they can do fishing and also It will make people want to stay because of the water being clean for their daily use.

The truck that the oil sands use are not the best for its price

caterpillar-797F

  • Carry weight : 380 tons
  • 2 diesel generators, 4 wheel drive. 8 wheels in total
  • 4000 horsepower
  • Speed : 57 km/hr

.Belaz-75710

  • New way of turning [ new turning mechanism]
  • Better solution in power drive, steering gears, load carrying frame.
  • 2 diesel generators, 4 wheel electric mototrs. 8 wheels in total
  • 4600 horsepower.
  • When truck carries load it has 2 engines working.
  • When truck rides to get a load only one engine is working. [ saving fuel]
  • The truck can drive on the same load as a 360 ton truck.
  • It fits in the same dimension of the repair bank.
  • Any driver who has the licence of a mining dump truck they can drive the 450 ton truck.Belaz-75710
  • A good mining dump truck which will carry a minimum of 450 tons.
  • The driving mechanism is exactly the same.
  • It can go on a 18% slope.
  • Max speed of 64 km/hr.
  • Design capacity is 25% higher than all existing mining dump trucks of the highest capacity.
Lets make Canada the great place it always was

Credits:

Created with images by ai3310X - "Carpet" • Maarten1979 - "Oil well" • JirkaF - "gas station fuel refueling" • mkc_673 - "Lake" • clondike7 - "Water" • ARTchemist* (AWAY) - "pretty in blue" • anyulled - "Sky" • tpsdave - "alaska landscape scenic" • PhotoDoyl - "Rocky Waters" • Sean Riley - "factory" • stevepb - "checkmate chess resignation" • werner22brigitte - "glowing sun rise canim lake"

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